Designed and constructed in partnership with local community groups, Habitat for Humanity Cambodia and COLE. Framework House delivers a safe & structured way of providing housing to low income & at risk communities. It gives Public and NGO housing providers a way of structuring community involvement without risking inflated project costs. The design allows for infill wall & floor materials that are site specific reducing the overall cost & carbon footprint. These infill areas allow for expansion and extension of the property over time by residents once skills have been shared through construction.
For 3 weeks in April, I had the fantastic opportunity to assist in hosting Building Trust’s latest design + build workshop in the Laos jungle. With a team of international volunteers, Laos workers and Building Trust staff we completed the build of an innovative fundraising merchandise store for Free the Bears.
Following the construction of several built projects in South East Asia using natural materials and seeing the growing interest and response in sustainable design and natural materials such as bamboo. Building Trust organised a Design + Build workshop to be held at Kuang Si Falls on the outskirts of Luang Prabang with Free the Bears. Working alongside Atelier COLE, a new merchandise store was designed and built which educates both workshop participants and the high volume of annual tourist visitors to the Tat Kuang Si Park on building with bamboo.
Free the Bears work tirelessly to combat the illegal trade in live bears and provide a safe sanctuary for any rescued bears at Tat Kuang Si Rescue Centre. Most of the bears at the centre are Asiatic Black Bears (Moon Bears) that were illegally captured from the wild as young cubs. It is likely that they were destined for use in the traditional medicine trade. The merchandise store will enable Free the Bears to sell items such as T-shirts, in order to receive much needed donations to allow them to continue their ongoing efforts to protect bears in Laos and beyond.
The fluted fountain like canopies protect the deck area by catching rain water and passing it through the gravel filled, hollow, circular foundation footings. As with all Building Trust projects the Bamboo Trees project worked closely with the local community who in this case were Khmu. They assisted in sharing local skills such as bamboo, rattan weaving and palm thatching which were later used to develop the roof of the structure.
The bamboo is complimented by rope (around 10 kilometres) that spirals around the structure, weaving each piece together and creating strength from the whole. The resulting tensegrity structures lean against each other in a tripartite vault.
You can see more photos of the construction of Bamboo Trees Here and be sure to check out more about Free The Bears!
Building Trust are designing and building teacher housing in Battambang with SeeBeyondBorders. The pilot house will hopefully be the start of a wider roll out of both housing for teachers and new classrooms for students…
Check out the latest images from site:
I look forward to updating on on the final week of the build with completed photos very soon.
It was fantastic to receive an update from MOVINGschool 003 and see the newly added bamboo façades to give further protection to the school classrooms. Along with our classrooms it was great to hear that our friends at Agora Architects had also designed and built a new classroom for the pupils at Hope school.
Building Trust international have worked with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and SVC on a new eco-lodge designed and built by the local community, NGO partners and through a hands-on participatory design and build workshop. Building Trust were requested by WCS to work with the local community in Tmat Boey, in the north of Cambodia to design
and construct a new lodge facility for WCS and SVC’s well established ecotourism project. The project is located in Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary and is managed by the Ministry of Environment.
Birdwatchers from across Asia and beyond flock to Cambodia for a glimpse of two of the world’s rarest birds: the giant ibis and its cousin the whiteshouldered ibis. The birds’ nesting grounds sit at the outskirts of Tmat Boey, a rural village where WCS and SVC have worked with the community to develop an eco-tourism project. This ground breaking project has turned
village farmers into custodians of the natural habitats the wildlife around them inhabit. Protecting threatened forests and in doing so providing an income to the whole community.
The design makes use of natural materials such as earth and bamboo. An adobe mix was created to place on the external walls with a lime plaster used to form a smooth, clean finish. Bamboo was sourced locally and used to create the roof and side wall facades. Recycled plastic bottles were collected from the local community and used to help create a staircase to reach the lodge itself, while also educating on the importance of recycling and reusing materials.
It is hoped the newly designed lodge will attract wildlife enthusiasts from Asia and beyond who will benefit from the sustainably built lodge. The adobe and lime plaster has a cooling effect creating a natural airflow throughout. The new building features moveable swinging windows which were built from locally sourced timber and can be positioned to allow guests to watch wildlife from the comfort of their own room. The overhanging split roof was used to create a frame protecting the natural materials within. The concept of the wrap around angled roof is based on reducing solar gain on the walls and defining the building against the dense canopy.
The workshop itself allowed for the crossover of skills between the Tmat Boey community, local contractors and Building Trust volunteers. Working alongside the community ensured the project was owned by the people it supports. Building Trust are due to host a number of design and build workshops throughout 2015 promoting natural building, community
engagement and sustainable construction techniques.
After managing to put in the first foundation post at the end of last week, our determined and energetic volunteers worked through the weekend and managed to fix three further foundation posts on site. The team worked through heavy rain, attempting to remove water from the foundation holes before they filled up with new rain water. It was great to see their clear understanding of the tasks, each volunteer knew their role and worked together as a team to construct the foundation posts in a quick and efficient manner.
It takes a great deal of patience and careful orientation to place the truck tyres into the foundation holes. The wires which can be seen in image above plot out the central line of the foundation post. It is very important that the wires remain in the correct place to ensure we have an accurate measurement across the school grid.
On the last day, many of the school students helped out the volunteers to carry gravel to the holes. It was great to see the kids excited about the school project and get involved in lending a hand on site.
We were very sad to loose nine of our volunteers on Tuesday, as they returned to Hong Kong for their Summer break. Ashley, Airi, Stephanie, Charity, Chung, David, Hin, Nicholas and Jim made an incredible impact on the school site and we are very grateful for the help they offered over the last month. Thankfully, Jim will remain with us for another month and our UK volunteers Claire, Ben and Mark will continue to help out over the next week.
As we awaited recruitment of new volunteers to assist with the foundation posts and with a day of continuous heavy rain the remaining volunteers spent Wednesday at the Global Neighbors workshop. The workshop team had managed to drill all the required holes in the steel and cut to the correct dimensions to allow us to assemble the first classroom module. With great excitement the team assembled the steel construction simply slotting the steel plates in place and bolting together.
It was very exciting to see the pieces come together and gain a real understanding of the size and scale of one school classroom module. It was also very reassuring to know that in no time at all the unit was assembled.
We had the great opportunity to finally see how the bamboo wall panels which the G’yaw G’yaw workers made a few weeks ago would sit inside the steel frame. The frame slotted inside the frame perfectly and the combination of the dark metal steel frame looked fantastic next to the natural bamboo wall panel. We cannot wait to see how one fully assembled unit with full wall panels, flooring and roof will look very soon.
Now that we have tested the first module we can confirm all dimensions with the workshop and order steel for the ten classroom modules. Over the next few weeks the apprentices at the workshop will be plotting, marking out and drilling many holes to create the final steel frame structure. The steel will be brought to the school and assembled on site. In the meantime, there is lots of painting to be done!